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 Satawa Law, PLLC

A collection of firearms, including a shotgun, arranged neatly on a leather couch

In this article, you will learn about:

  • The concept of “knowing possession” and how it may relate to your case.
  • The impacts that recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have had on federal weapons cases.
  • What you should look for when seeking an attorney for federal weapons charges.

How Does A Defense Attorney Approach A Federal Gun Charges Case?

Legal defenses in federal weapons charges often hinge on nuanced details. Knowledge plays a crucial role—an individual must be aware that a firearm is present in order to be charged with possession.

Consider the scenario of a convicted felon unaware of a weapon hidden in their trunk during a police stop. Did they commit a crime? The key factor is whether or not there was “knowing possession.”

To be guilty of federal weapons offenses, one must be conscious of being in possession of the firearm. This subtle distinction, when properly elaborated and presented, can significantly impact the charges and sentencing outcomes.

Furthermore, the language in federal gun statutes is frequently vague and overbroad, attempting to encompass both criminal and non-criminal activities. In the end, this creates a scenario where constitutional challenges to federal weapons charges are common.

For example, in the case of 924(c) charges, useful legal defenses tend to involve questioning whether the firearm was used or possessed in furtherance of the offense, emphasizing the need for a direct connection between possessing the firearm and the associated offense.

To illustrate this, imagine that you were to be charged with securities fraud and you happened to have a shotgun in your home. In this situation, it would be difficult for the authorities to successfully argue that you were using your firearm in the furtherance of a securities fraud charge.

As you can see, each case is completely unique – by using tailored strategies such as these to defend against weapons charges, our firm seeks to ensure that every client’s rights are protected under the law.

Are Legal Challenges To Firearm Possession Under The Constitution Helping To Change Federal Gun Charge Laws?

The recent conservative shift in the United States Supreme Court has seen a strict enforcement of the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms. This stance has paved the way for arguments asserting the unconstitutionality of specific federal bans on illegal types of weapons and offenses involving prohibitive persons.

The Bruen case significantly limited a state’s authority to restrict an individual’s right to publicly possess and own a firearm for self-defense purposes. This landmark decision, known as the Bruen test, has led to the overturning of numerous gun restrictions nationwide. Among these is the federal prohibition on firearm possession for individuals under a Protective Order (PPO) or restraining order.

At the heart of the Bruen ruling lies a nuanced and contentious interpretation. The court asserted that the United States has a deeply ingrained tradition of gun ownership and the use of firearms for personal protection.

Consequently, the Bruen Court established a test centered on assessing whether there is a historical tradition of regulating the conduct in question. If such a tradition of allowing firearm possession or use in a certain manner is identified, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, for a state government to ban such regulations and render them illegal.

This also serves as a viable defense in federal firearms or weapon offense cases, though it is by no means the only defense available. For more information on the defenses available to you and further insights tailored to your case, consider reaching out to Satawa Law for a consultation.

What Are The Hallmarks Of A Qualified Federal Gun Charges Attorney?

Federal weapons offenses are inherently intricate and multifaceted, surpassing the complexity of their state-level equivalents. Because of this, attorneys specializing in criminal defense, (including those well versed in weapons charges), may find themselves under-equipped to handle federal weapons offenses due to the nuanced differences.

In reality, federal criminal procedure is far more formal and rigid than state practices. For instance, federal judges typically adhere to stringent expectations regarding legal proceedings – and, unlike what you’ll experience in state courts, oral motions are not commonly accepted in federal practice.

Instead, motions must be meticulously drafted and briefed, with decisions often rendered without the opportunity for oral argument. This underscores the importance of retaining an attorney who is experienced in the intricacies of federal weapons offenses and the corresponding legal procedures.

What’s more, a true challenge lies within the realm of federal sentencing, which presents a wide variety of challenges for those who are unaware or misinformed. As such, federal sentencing guidelines are renowned for their complexity and create significant hurdles for even the most seasoned attorneys. In fact, mastering a reliable approach to the federal sentencing guideline system takes years of focused dedication – particularly when it comes to providing clients with accurate advice, such as whether or not to accept a plea deal.

With all this in mind, hiring the right attorney for a federal firearm or weapons charge is of paramount importance for several reasons. Notably, constitutional challenges may need to be raised and various legal defenses must be meticulously explored.

To take this a step further, some cases include little-known defenses such as the antique exception. In these situations, understanding the nuances of whether a weapon was “grandfathered” can be incredibly difficult, presenting yet another area where experienced federal criminal practitioners don’t just excel, but are completely necessary.

Federal weapons offenses, much like any federal case, demand highly specialized knowledge and experience. For this reason, it’s essential to work with an attorney who has a deep familiarity with both weapons offenses and federal practice to ensure that all potential strategies are explored and to properly safeguard your rights and interests.

For more information on Legal Defenses To Federal Gun Charges, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (248) 509-0056 today.

Mark Satawa

Call Today For Your Free Case Strategy Session
(248) 509-0056